NAHS 5K fundraiser returns with Toons n’ Tunes theme

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Runners take off for the North Attleborough Music Department's Toons n' Tunes 5K, held Sunday, May 15. The annual run returned to its pre-pandemic format after two years of virtual runs. More then 250 people participated. Staff Photo/Max Bowen
Stephanie Pratico and her daughter Paris run the track course for the children’s race. Staff Photo/Max Bowen

By Max Bowen-max.bowen@northstarreporter.com

With music filling the air, adults and children took to the road around North Attleborough High School to raise money for the music program.

The music department’s annual 5K Family Fun Run returned the morning of May 15 to its pre-pandemic form after two years of virtual runs. Rob Couture, a music teacher and organizer of the run, said it felt great to see the entire event go off without a hitch.

The energy today was really fantastic,” he said following the 5K. “The weather cooperated, people dressed up for the event. There was great music the students performed throughout the course. It was just a great day all throughout.”

Couture said that 55 children participated in the event, along with 200 adults. People ran, walked, and pushed strollers, and some had taken part in other runs, including marathons. He added that the goal was to create a community event for the entire family and the day had a youthful energy to it.

People are starting running again,” said Couture. “But that’s a hard thing to start doing. I really didn’t know what to expect this year and it’s nice that it’s kind of like hitting a mark with where we have been in the past.”

Many who participated in the 5K dressed for the occasion as their favorite cartoon character. Sally Klimp, Caitlin Meeks, Kirsten Stickel, Katie Vaudo, and Mike Orr dressed as the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Klimp said it was their first time in this 5K, and she’s a regular in these types of events. This was Meeks’ first time, and she joked that this would fulfill the requirement of the Couch to 5K app.

I’ll experience it and see how it goes,” said Meeks prior to the run, later saying that she was able to finish.

Stephanie Pratico of Worcester said she looked for 5Ks that would be a good fit for her 6-year-old daughter Paris and thought North Attleborough’s would be perfect. Dressed as Mrs. Incredible, Pratico said she’s run in marathons and her daughter joins her for some shorter runs and hikes.

This seemed like a fun opportunity to her into the running community,” she said.

Steve Noonan of North Attleborough had perhaps the most unique costume as Skeletor. He’d chosen it back when the weather was colder and joked that he’d likely be pretty hot after the run.

I was just encouraged to do this,” said Noonan.

Senior Sharon Jabbour sings “How Far I’ll Go” from the Disney movie Moana. As part of the 5K, NAHS music students sang to the runners at different points along the course. Staff Photo/Max Bowen

Each year the 5K has a different type of music performed by NAHS music students along the course and on stage at the Raymond Beaupre Field. This year’s event was dubbed Toons n’ Tunes, and songs from cartoons and Disney movies were sung throughout the morning. At the first station located on Landry Avenue, senior Sharon Jabbour sung “How Far I’ll Go” from the movie “Moana.” The 5K was last held in 2019 and back then, Jabbour had been a freshman volunteering at it.

I feel like we’re bringing the community back together,” she said.

Jabbour is part of the school band and chorus, which have both been performing recently. She said it felt amazing to be back on stage and in front of an audience. Prior to COVID restrictions lessening, music students had to record their performances at home.

But now we can all sing together,” said Jabbour. “And we’re all much closer now that we’re all in person again.”